Guns in America – The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms

In recent memory there have been at least five major gun-related acts of violence in the United States leaving many disheartened but sadly not surprised. It has almost become a part of our daily routine to wake up and see some form of tragedy unfolding on the television screen.

In an effort to try and change this, President Obama and his team of supporters worked to develop a gun control bill that just this past week was rejected by the senate, despite a Quinnipiac poll showing an overwhelming 90 per cent majority for the bill. In the end, the senate voted 54-46, just shy of the 60 votes needed for the bill to pass. According to the president, “lawmakers who opposed the measure ‘caved’ to pressure from the gun lobby and its allies who ‘willfully lied about the bill.'”

For those who have only heard fragments about this issue, the bill itself aimed to increase universal background checks for the sale of firearms and limit ammunition magazines to a 10-round capacity, among other things.


Students being led to safety following the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.

Many will remember the Aurora Colorado shooting that occurred during a screening of the Dark Knight Rises in 2012. The suspect in the case, James Holmes, was found to have purchased more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition, legally. It was also discovered that he had bought multiple magazines for his AR-15 assault rifle, including one 100-round drum magazine which, according to Chief Dan Oates of the Aurora Police, could have fired off 50 to 60 rounds within one minute. Later that year, the horrific scenes unfolding from a small town in Connecticut served to remind us that even our most innocent are not safe. Twenty six people – 20 of them aged six and seven years old – died when Adam Lanza entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and opened fire. It was this incident that once again brought the gun control subject to the forefront. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been quoted over and over again saying, “No one hunts with an assault rifle. No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer. End the madness now!”

For those living outside of the United States it may come as a surprise as to why the bill did not pass and why many Americans do not see the means to an end in this matter. Simply put, it is because the Second Amendment affords us “the right to bear arms.” For many who oppose the gun bill, this is the only reason they need.

For President Obama and the many who stand behind him, the fight to get the bill passed is not over. He said, ” this is just round one. I believe we’re going to be able to get this one. Sooner or later we are going to get this right. The memories of these children demand it, and so do the American people.”

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